First Read: Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nov 18, 2014

Damage from severe violent weather, JTA's new rapid transist system, and a new documentary focused on Florida's farmworkers are in the headlines today.

Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. We'll also preview some of WJCT's upcoming news programming.

Severe thunderstorm ripped through the First Coast
Downed trees, damaged buildings, and power outages were left in the wake of a squall line of thunderstorms that produced winds of 45-55 miles per hour, confirmed gust of 67 mph and at least one tornado. (Florida Times-Union)

Tractor-trailers overturned in high winds
Wind gusts on the Dames Pointe Bridge of up to 80 miles per hour knocked over two tractor-trailers, blocking traffic for over an hour and a half. (News4Jax)

Firefighter removes window pane from 20th floor of Wells Fargo Center
High winds left a large window pane on the Wells Fargo Center hanging by its caulking. Jacksonville Fire-Rescue Lt. Allen Mallard rappelled down the side of the tower to secure the broken glass and remove it. (First Coast News)

Jacksonville Beach apartment building roof torn off
Residents of a 12 unit apartment building in Jacksonville beach were forced to evacuate their home when the roof was ripped off by a microburst around 2 p.m. Monday.

Hard Freeze Warning in effect 11 p.m. tonight until 9 a.m. Wednesday 
Temperatures below 27 degrees are expected for at least 2 hours. Plants and animals should be protected. (National Weather Service)

JTA celebrates rapid transit system ground breaking
Jacksonville Transportation Authority broke ground on the First Coast Flyer center downtown, the hub for JTA's new rapid transit system that is planned to be completed by 2019. (News 4 Jax)

Documentary highlights plight of Florida farmworkers
Food Chains, narrated by Forrest Whitaker, follows the story of the ​Coalition of Immokalee Workers' initiative to build the Fair Food program, a coalition of farm workers, food corporations and growers to ensure safe working conditions and fair compensation for pickers. Film producer ​Smriti Keshar and Coalition of Immokalee Workers member Geraldo Reyes joined Melissa Ross to discuss the movie and the Fair Food program. (WJCT)

Today in a First Coast Connect exclusive, One Spark Executive Director & COO Joe Sampson and Director of One Spark Creator Academy Al Emerick will unveil One Spark's 2015 keynote speakers and attractions.

You can get all the latest headlines online at WJCTNews.org, on our Facebook page, and on Twitter @WJCTJax. You can follow Ray Hollister on Twitter @RayHollister.